Community input will be key
Former industrial properties are located throughout the Ohio Valley, a reminder of the engines which used to be the main force behind our local economy.
In recent years, there has been an increased effort to find new futures for those sites, whether it be leveling steel plants or pottery sites in order to build new structures, or repurpose existing buildings for use as offices, retail or even residential sites.
One such location is the former Brooke Glass factory in Wellsburg. The Business Development Corp. of the Northern Panhandle acquired the property in 2014, and has spent that time going through various environmental assessments and cleanups, as well as the partial demolition of the factory itself.
Working with local residents and groups, including Wellsburg Council and the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, the BDC is seeking input on potential future uses for the property.
There is great potential for any effort to redevelop property in our region, and it is good to see a willingness to take residents’ thoughts into account. After all, they are the ones who will be living with the results.
Some of the suggestions, so far, have included restaurants, microbreweries, apartments or even businesses catering to those making use of the nearby Yankee Trail. It could even be a combination of two or more of these ideas, or possibly something else entirely.
Previous redevelopment efforts in our area, whether in Chester, Weirton or Beech Bottom, have involved input from the community, and we’re glad to see that continue here.